Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday November 1, 2011

 

Heeey, made it under the wire this week! 😉  But at least I am posting Montessori Monday on the right day this week…

This past week has been a whirlwind at our house.  Both Jedi and Monkey are in the middle of their IEP process, and so there are a lot of appointments, meetings, and evaluations going on.  Monkey had an occupational therapy evaluation this past week as part of her autism diagnosis and we learned a lot of really interesting things…a lot of it gave us some insight into some of the difficulties Monkey’s been having.  We still have a few more questions, but at least now, we’re on a good path.  It is forcing us to look ahead to next fall when Monkey starts kindergarten.  We will likely be transitioning out of the pure Montessori-based homeschooling and get into a little more structure, simply because we not only need to accurately assess where Monkey is due to some deficits and difficulties she has, but she needs a bit more structure.  So, if anyone out there has a really good kindergarten curriculum, let me know!  We need it to have a strong multi-sensory and hands-on approach (as little verbal information as possible since one of her main deficits is auditory processing).  We are also Roman Catholic, and so if the curriculum is not secular, we’d like it to at least be Catholic-friendly. 🙂  Let me know any suggestions you might have!

And on to the review of Monkey and Bitty Bug’s week!

One of Bug and Monkey's favorite works--using tweezers to pluck the kernels off of the Indian Corn

 

Using the dot markers to make orange, yellow, and red "leaves" on the coffee filter tree

 

The girls using watercolor paints

 

Matching the mineral to the card

 

I found these cute little bead sets at Mich@els. Bug and Monkey loved stringing the Halloween beads onto the elastic to make their own necklaces!

 

This clay is some black sand clay I made for Jedi to use for one of his projects. Monkey took the rest, pretended to knead it into a loaf of bread, and then practiced her cutting.

 

Bug beading her necklace

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One last post for today…our Montessori work October 26, 2011

I’m almost completely caught up on posts!  I have a couple more to get to, but I’m just going to attempt to get one more post out today.  Bug & Monkey’s week (or two) in review!

After the pumpkin patch, the kids get to do their two favorite works--the first one is scrubbing pumpkins! The kids love sitting on the porch cleaning all of the new pumpkins.

 

Their second favorite work of the year is to hammer nails in pumpkins. This year the older two wanted to make actual designs with their nails as well.

 

Monkey working hard!

 

Jedi and his Frankenstein design

 

Monkey and her face design

 

Bug and Monkey collecting leaves at the park

 

Jedi collecting leaves

 

Their stash of leaves!

 

Monkey and Jedi with their bag of leaves

 

Pinning clothespins to foam pumpkins

 

I made a spider web out of pipe cleaners for the kids to put the spider rings on.

 

Monkey threading the spiders on the web

 

Sorting the Halloween rings by shape (skull, spider, bat)

 

Bug working with the fraction skittles

 

Spiders in the sensory bin!

 

Monkey learning to weave using strips of paper

 

And finally.... This is what happens when I give Bug a brand new box of crayons. She loves to break them all and peel them. I probably should have just given her the old ones!

 

Catching Up…last week's Montessori Monday October 1, 2011

 

So first off, let it be known that whatever kid hid the camera cord is hereby known as the queen (or king) of hide-and-go-seek.  Over a week later, and it’s nowhere to be found.  So, a brand new card reader was bought today and now I can finally get pictures off the camera!  Now it’s time to play catchup.  So,  here are the pictures that were supposed to be posted a week ago. 🙂

 

Bug using watercolor paints to color her Caterpillar C.

 

A leaf matching work--I put 2 of each shape/color silk leaf on a tray for the girls to match.

 

Using an eye dropper to transfer the water from one jar to the other.

 

Since we were learning about autumn and the changing leaves, I brought out a tray from the botany cabinet so the girls can match the leaf shapes

 

The girls painting

 

Monkey working on her letter C book

 

Dot painting the letter C

 

Monkey using the eye dropper

 

All three kids changing the seasonal tree from the green leaves of summer to the red/yellow/orange leaves of fall.

 

The sensory bin was also changed from the summer sand/beach theme to the autumn theme. It has straw in it (in the craft aisle at major craft stores), small plastic colored leaf beads, silk leaves, gords, wooden vegetables (from the toy kitchen), and various scoops/rakes/containers

 

The kids' new favorite work--raking leaves! Since we don't have any large trees on our property yet (and thus no leaves to rake), I filled a pan with silk leaves. The kids then throw the leaves in the air and use the small rake to rake them up.

 

Bug tossing the leaves in the air.

 

The seasonal tree fully decorated.

 

The girls playing in the sensory bin.

 

The kids also got to see a little wildlife. Our new neighbors were excavating for their landscaping and accidentally destroyed a rabbit nest. After rescuing the baby bunnies, they called us over so the kids can see them (such awesome new neighbors...they've only lived there a couple months and they've already call us for homeschool science lessons!)

 

We ended our unit on the letter C the way anyone would...by making c shaped chocolate chip cookies covered in chocolate icing. Monkey hasn't forgotten the letter C yet, so I'd say this worked. 😉

 

Our autumn math work...pumpkin patch counting! This is based of the numerals and counters work. I printed out 11 identical close-up pictures of a pumpkin patch. On each picture, I wrote a number from 0-10. Since our children are also quite young, I wrote an x for each number in the patch. Then, using foam pumpkins, Bug and Monkey place the correct number of pumpkins in each patch to match the number written on each card.

 

A close-up of the work. This is the '5' card, and so there are 5 x's in the patch. A pumpkin goes on each x. If the child is older or can recognize numbers, you wouldn't need to put the x's on.

 

Tot School Tuesday November 16, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 9:58 am
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 22 months old

This week, Bug was really into digging.  She spent a lot of time outdoors digging in the yard and in the sandbox.  So, we decided to take out a little sandbox work for her to do inside too–she loved it!   Clearly Bug is having some beach withdrawals now that the weather is getting cooler. LOL!
Here are a few pictures from this week:

Bug attempting to go bowling in our driveway. She didn't quite get the concept of *rolling* the ball though. LOL!

I got this idea from Family Fun magazine. This was a pretty huge project for me. I know it doesn't look like much, but I am *not* a sewer. At all. I can bake from here to eternity but I do.not.sew. I have a sewing machine that I think I've turned on once in 5 years because I can't make it work. So, to make these little fruits and veggies was a pretty big deal. LOL! I made them out of felt, and instead of using cotton balls on the inside like the instructions said, I just used some old outgrown torn up clothing as the stuffing. Bug really likes her felt Horn of Plenty. She takes the food out, names it, and then puts it back in. 🙂

Stuffing the veggies into the Horn of Plenty

A new work I set out for Bug...a little sand box with shells, sea stars, and other beach/ocean wildlife. There are tongs and spoons in the bin for her to dig and remove the objects.

Working with the mini sandbox

As you might remember from yesterday's post, Monkey had a silver polishing work out. Bug was really really really interested in it. Because the polish was just baking soda & water, I let her try it. I'm glad I did--you can tell from the picture how high her level of concentration was. She really enjoyed watching the goblet become shiny, and she enjoyed the process of polishing it with a toothbrush.

Our November “waiting room” activity bin–there are silk leaves, real pumpkins & gourds, and some wooden fruit & veggies.

The rest of the "waiting room" activity bag for November. Some finger puppets, the white board to draw on, clothespins and cups, a book on puppies & kittens, and a lacing activity.

 

Montessori Monday November 14, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 9 months old

It’s hard to believe that we’re already 3 months into the school year, and the winter holidays are getting closer.  On one hand, it seems like we’ve just barely gotten started, but on the other hand, Monkey’s done so much and accomplished so many things in just 3 months.  It’s amazing to see this process every day. 

It feels like we’re finally making headway on the colors thing.  She’s been able to match them for months, but because of her processing issues, she has such a hard time naming colors.  She’s finally getting a couple of them, which is huge!  And once she got those, it seemed like she was then ready for so much more–for starting to learn her letters and numbers, etc.  She’s been so interested in those the past couple weeks.

Monkey also did really well with her Vietnamese lessons this week.  She learned the words for ‘baby’, ‘mama’, ‘daddy’, ‘hi’, ‘goodbye’, ‘fish’, ‘ball’, and ‘swim’.  She also learned the first couple lines of a song.  She was pretty shy for her tutor, but on the way home, she started repeating the words.  This week, I made her 3 part cards of the words she learned–that way she learns to read the words in Vietnamese (and it also helps me to remember the words as well. LOL!)

Here are some pictures from this week…

Sorting feathers by color

Using the hammering work to hammer shapes into the piece of cork

This was really really cool! The Olivia book was sitting next to her, and she decided to find letters to match the word Olivia and hammer them in. We were all really impressed by this!

Working with the geometric cabinet, drawer 1. Here she's tracing the outside, and then she traces the inset before matching them together.

This was something I came up with after seeing a printable on dltk-holidays.com. I printed the turkey color card from that site, then I laminated it. Monkey puts a colored button on each turkey (green buttons on the green turkeys, brown buttons on the brown turkeys, etc.) Then she counted the number of buttons for each color.

 

Learning how to set a table. I printed off a template for setting a table from the Martha Stewart site, and then taped it to the lid of the box that held the table setting work. She used that as a guide for setting the items on her work table.

Sorting items into "living" and "non-living". We talked about how living things eat/need nutrients and/or water, grow, and reproduce. For the rest of the week, every time we were in the car, she'd ask if various things she could see out the window were living or non-living, so I'd ask her if they ate, grew, and reproduced. She thought that was a pretty fun question game to play during car trips this week.

Polishing silver. I made a silver polish out of baking soda and water, so that it was completely non-toxic (Bitty Bug wanted to work with it too, so I had to make it completely non-toxic so that she wouldn't get sick if she tried licking it or something). I also set out a dish to hold the polish, a tooth brush, a soft sponge, and a wash cloth. She's polishing the goblets from my husband and my wedding (almost 8 years ago--we've never gotten around to polishing them!)

The 3 part cards I made after Monkey's weekly Vietnamese lesson with her tutor.

 

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Tot School Tuesday November 9, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:52 am
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21.5 months old

Bitty Bug continues to gain a fierce sense of independence (except of course when you bring her into a room full of people she doesn’t really know…then she curls up and gets shy. 😉 ).  But, she is getting very good at telling you what she wants, telling you that she wants to do it herself, and telling you when she feels wronged.  And to a toddler with two older siblings, she feels wronged a lot…like any time they have something really cool in their hands that she really really wants at that moment.  So, this week has been a week where Miss Bug learns some frustration tolerance, sharing, and how to deal with her big emotions.  That’s a big job for any child, but when you’re a little toddler with a limited vocabulary, that can be very hard.  So, we’ve seen a lot of tantrums this week, but we’ve also seen a lot of progress where she comes right to us and tells us what’s wrong.  It might be hard to understand what she’s saying, especially when she’s so upset, but she’s trying really hard to express herself!

Here are some pictures of Bug’s week of learning….

Bug enjoyed a warm fall day by playing with sidewalk chalk with Monkey

Our little One Woman Band! Bug did a lot of exploring the various instruments in the music cupboard to see how the various instruments could be used together.

Working with the Autumn/Thanksgiving matching cards. She really enjoyed looking for all of the pictures of pumpkins, since she did a lot of work with pumpkins in recent weeks. There were also a couple of cards she could actually match up too! But in general, I wasn't going for matching...I just was happy that she was looking through the cards!

Bug still loves pouring water! It's probably one of her favorite works. Here, she's pouring from a creamer to a child sized tea cup.

I started Bug on color box 1. I was really impressed--not only could she match them up, but she could point to the correct color when I asked her to find yellow, then blue, then red. And she could name the yellow cards when I asked her what color those were.

Working with her shades & sizes peg board.

The bead after bead board was another one that was a big hit with Bug this week. She's really into counting and colors, so this work combined both of them. She can count to 5 without help and can count to 12 with help! She can also independently name "yellow" and "orange" (probably because we have been working really hard on colors with Monkey, who is still having a really hard time with them.)

Bug still loves the autumn leaf sorting activity. She can't sort the individual colors yet, but she can name some of them. She usually sorts the green ones in one cup, and yellow, orange, and purple in the other cup. This is also good for using the pincher grasp, since all the leaves are pretty small.

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Toddler Tuesday November 2, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21.5 months old

This year was the first year Bitty But was really able to get into Halloween…last year she was just a wee baby.  It was *so* fun watching her get into the season…apple picking, pumpkin picking, painting her pumpkin, dressing up as a ghost (and walking around the house after she put a little bucket on her head, and yelling “oooooooooooh I a GHOOOOOOST!”  LOL!)…and she would point out decorations of “ha house” (her word for haunted houses), ghosts, mummies, and black cats.  She really loved it all!  I can’t wait until Christmas…if she loved the sights of autumn, she’s going to absolutely fall in love with the holiday season.  It is awesome watching toddlers become so aware of their surroundings and discover thigns for the first time!

Even though Bug was so excited for the Halloween festivities this week, she also did a lot of good playing and learning this week as well!  She even counted all the way to 13 multiple times this week!

(I just realized, she’s rarely ever wearing clothes in any of the pictures.  I swear this child has a wardrobe that overflows her closet…but school time always happens right after breakfast. She always decides to strip naked before breakfast and never agrees to having her clothes put back on.  LOL!)

Using her stacking cups

Bug loves to explore the instrument cabinet. She's constantly searching through it and figuring out new combinations of instruments to play!

Opening and closing the wallets from her zipper/velcro/button/snap/buckle basket

Playing with all of the animals on the Land/Water/Air tray. She didn't understand the concept of land/water/air of course--she was just practicing naming the animals.

Flipping lids with a spatula. (Note the awesome headband...she put that on herself. LOL!)

Building a tower with the yellow knobless cylinders. Each piece she picked up, she'd yell "ye-wow! ye-wow!" She really knows 'yellow' very well!

She apparently thought it was really interesting to look at her magnetic ice cream cone with a magnifying glass. 😉 She came up with that work herself. LOL!

Building a rainbow with her wooden rainbow arches.